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SMEs Bust the 5 Biggest Myths of Instructional Design

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5 Biggest Myths of Instructional Design

To develop a successful elearning course, you need to be a good instructional designer. As a Subject Matter Expert (SME) in your domain, you can quickly become a good instructional designer and create good elearning courses. You have the command on the subject and you know the learners. All you need is to start designing the courses knowing some basic learning design principles.

Given here a few positive aspects of instructional design. But my question is: Do you still think that you can’t create an online course? Many a time, we have this fear, as to what it takes to create effective e-learning. So, I think it is time to bust the biggest myths of instructional design.

Myth 1: I’ve never created an online course before, so how do i make a beginning?

Instructional design is a good skill to acquire for an SME as it will enhance your career prospects. The fact that you have never developed an online course doesn’t mean that you don’t have a good skills-set! Remember you are very knowledgeable about the subject and that gives you an edge. It only requires a little extra effort in understanding the steps in developing something that matters to your learners.

Myth 2: I don’t have great writing skills. Does it matter to become a good instructional designer?

Yes, writing skills are important, but they aren’t everything. The only thing that matters is the knowledge on the subject. Most courses are effective if the right content is imparted to the learners. Believe me; if you have a willingness to share your knowledge with your learners in a simple and clear way, you are already off to a great start.

Myth 3: I always have a hectic schedule. I don’t have time to create a course.

Most e-learning courses are very short. An average e-learning is roughly of 20 -30 minutes duration. It can include graphics and charts. The idea is not to develop an award winning e-learning course which can be time-consuming and requires a lot of effort. Rather, it will take a small amount of your valuable time. The only thing you need to do is to focus on the Learner, Content and What the participants will have learned after they complete this course. If you focus on these 3 factors, you will become a good instructional designer.

Myth 4: Do I need to sound like a scholar, to get people listen to me?

You are already an expert in your domain. You elearning will work best when it gets your audience learn quickly through these trainings. So, whatever be the subject, as an Instructional designer you need to do something that retains learning in their minds of the learners and helps them apply it.

Myth 5: Do I need to enhance my elearning? If so, how can I do it?

If you focus on learner and develop your content that is aligned to the learning outcomes, you have a winner. Now how can you enhance the course? So, for enhancing your course, you can use images, diagrams, highlights to reinforce the main points, short paragraphs, sub-headings and so on.

Use some mnemonics and visuals to help learners retain information. Use of videos on the subject that will definitely help. Also if they are involved through internal quiz questions, it will reinforce their learning.

Once your content is ready, publish this course using any of the authoring tools. They are plenty out there to help you develop the course without having any technical knowledge.

Hope by now, I can expect you to be pretty confident to start developing an elearning course. I can promise you, that if you can keep these things in mind, then it will be very easy for you to dispel the fear within and start on a fresh note.

Awaiting a very positive response from your end.

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  • KimG

    I agree with the myths provided here, but I think we also need to keep in mind that SMEs often need guidance with regard to the amount of content covered in eLearning or any learning environment. SMEs by definition, have a great depth of knowledge in their area of expertise, which makes them an asset, but need help identifying what the learner needs to know and what can be left for another time.